-“The link between digestion + neurological and psychological disorders is absolute.” Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, “Gut + Psychology Syndrome”
Sarah believes that there is a huge link between the food we eat and the symptoms we experience. She is in her final year of a diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition, in order to integrate nutritional advice into her ADHD coaching sessions.
The gut and the brain are part of the enteric nervous system (ENS) and form the “gut-brain axis,” a group of nerve fibres that live in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas and gall bladder. Information travels to and from the ENS and the brain regarding many mechanical and chemical reactions in the body, including the secretion of over 40 neurotransmitters. ADHD is linked to lower levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Neurons in the gut produce 70% of the body’s dopamine and 95% of the body’s serotonin. Dopamine affects your mood, attention, motivation and movement. Serotonin affects hyperactivity, anxiety, focus and emotional stability.
ADHD is linked to deficiencies with Omega 3, Phosphorous, B6, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Folates, Iron and SAMe, which are all involved in the synthesis or functioning of neurotransmitters. The best way to increase levels of these vitamins is in the food that we eat.
Growing evidence shows that the brain’s dopamine and serotonin system is directly affected by chronic, low-grade inflammation. One of the causes of inflammation is a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar.
A western diet that is high in refined sugars is associated with double the likelihood of having adhd. In 2011, The Lancet published the results of a study that gauged diet’s effect on ADHD symptoms. Researchers recruited 100 children with ADHD, and placed 50 of them on a restricted diet, consisting mainly of rice, meat, vegetables, pears, and water, with some children getting a few other foods. The other 50, the control group, received a normal diet. At the end of five weeks, 64% of the children on the restricted diet had significant improvement in their ADHD symptoms, while none of the control group had improved.